This post has been updated. The recipe was originally featured on The Paleo Mom's site on October 4, 2014.
My husband's all time favourite dessert is lemon tart and, it has to be said, the more lemony the better. So I created this recipe as a special surprise for his Birthday.
The beauty of this dessert is that it has just a handful of ingredients, plus it's quick and simple to put together. I imagine you’ll even have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen.
I remember testing this recipe numerous times. It was totally gorgeous right from the start, but I was striving for the perfect texture and blend of sweet and sour. I tested the crust with no sides, low sides, high sides, and super-high sides. Then I tried it cooked, raw and cooked again until I was totally satisfied and my sugar intake (albeit unrefined) was maxed out!
The fun part is you get to control the outcome here. How awesome is that? Do you want to cook the crust or leave it raw? If you're in doubt I prefer it cooked. But here's another suggestion - why not do a taste test by making one of each. Just saying!
Back in 2014 we were combining AIP with GAPS, so eating a low starch diet. Those days are long gone now but, if you do better with low starch this, my friend, is happiness on a plate.
I hope you do make this, it's such a beautiful treat. With a melt-in-the-mouth texture, the tangy filling is a winner paired with the sweetness of the crust. My husband loved it, we loved it .. and you will too!
Remember ... when life gives you lemons, make lemon tart! 🙂
AIP Lemon Tart
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes plus 4 hrs chilling
Print the recipe here!
2 cups finely shredded coconut
1+1/2 cups (230g or 11-12) large medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tbsp + 2 tsp gelatin
zest and juice 4 large lemons (yields 155ml juice)
2+1/4 cups (530ml) coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C and line the base of a 7 x 2+1/2 inch springform tin with parchment paper.
Make the crust:
Put the shredded coconut and dates into a food processor and process for 2+1/2-3 minutes until the mixture is beginning to come together and resembles brown sugar. Take care not to over process, or the crust will be too oily. Put the mixture into the springform tin, gently press into the base and all the way up the sides, using your knuckles or fingertips. Make sure there are no gaps in the crust. Put into the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
Next, place the tin into the preheated oven for 15 minutes or so until browned. It will firm up on cooling. When ready, place the tin on a wire rack to cool down, about 20 minutes.
Make the filling:
While the crust is cooling down, prepare the filling. Put 1/2 cup of filtered water into a pan and sprinkle over the gelatin. Leave for 5 minutes or so until it becomes spongy in appearance and has absorbed the water. Next, gently warm on the lowest heat to melt the gelatin, while stirring. Remove from the heat, add the honey and keep stirring until melted. Put the lemon juice, zest and the coconut milk into a large jug or bowl and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Yields 1+1/2pt liquid. Set aside until the crust has cooled down.
Once the crust has completely cooled, gently pour in 3/4 of the filling. Place in the refrigerator and top up with the remaining liquid. Be mindful about slamming the fridge door, in case it jogs the filling. Chill until set, a minimum of 4 hours.
Carefully release the springform, easing away any of the crust that stick to the sides. Use a thin palate knife to tease the crust away if necessary. This is best eaten the day it is made.
A few notes to think about:
You can leave the crust raw if you prefer, in which case line the sides of the tin as well as the base or the ‘pastry’ will be difficult to remove. After putting the crust into the mould, don’t refrigerate before adding the filling or the filling will likely separate from the base when it is cut. Do not use a fluted tin to make this, the crust will stick to the sides.
This looks so yummy and I'd really like to try making it. Problem is I can't find Great Lakes Gelatin here in Calgary and its not available in Canada through Amazon. Where do you get yours?
Thank you Esther. I get mine from Amazon.com and have it shipped to just the other side of the border, however I've just looked on Amazon.ca and you can find it here http://www.amazon.ca/Great-Lakes-Unflavored-Gelatin-16-Ounce/dp/B0008D6WBA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412693878&sr=8-1&keywords=great+lakes+gelatin. Alternatively there is a shop in Vancouver called Home on the Range who now sell it and may be able to send it mail order for you - http://www.hotro.ca.
Thank you so much for this information. I will purchase some through Amazon.ca right away. So excited!!
I live in Manitoba and find Great Lakes at my health food store. Also ordered through Amazon.ca but haven't had to in a long while.
This popped up as a feed from someone I follow and so loving lemons and having a glut on my lemon tree thought I'd make it as a treat last Sunday. Well half of it went that night! Truly delicious lemon tart, thank you
What a wonderful comment, thanks so much for telling me Amanda. Oh, and I'm trying not to be jealous of your lemon tree!
This recipe is so delicious - thank you!
I'm not too keen on dates so I used coconut flour and fat, toasted in a saucepan on the stove and pressed in a pan because I was too lazy to bake. The filling has so many possibilities and I am thinking of trying it with vanilla bean powder and a hint of lemon to mimic the flavor of cheesecake.
That said this recipe is great as it is, my husband loved it too. Well done.
Glad you liked it Kate, thanks for letting me know. Your ideas sound so good 🙂
I just served this up for my whole family (husband, kids and in-laws) together with your lemon and mint roast chicken and they both went down a storm!! Thank you. I am looking forward to trying out some more of your wonderful recipes for my kids. x
Sarah, that's so great to hear. Another family who loves lemons as much as we do - thank you for letting me know 🙂
Thank you very much for ALL your recipes! for creating it and sharing it!
It makes my life with AIP diet so delicious and simple.
This dessert I have been making already several times, it always makes me feel happy:)... and my family too.
I wish you all the best!
Thank you once again!
Aw thanks Eleonore, that's such a lovely thing to say 🙂
So pleased you get happiness from your lemon tart!
Made this for a Christmas party and it turned perfectly. Was glad for the tip to have an artist's palette knife handy to get it away from sides of the pan. Tasted delicious! I strained the lemon juice for a smooth texture. Added a scant tsp. extra of honey. I got my 7" pan from Amazon. Specs. said it was 1 1/2 " high, but it was really closer to 3" . The filling came just below the top which worked great. I made it the day before the party and left it in pan overnight in frig. for the lunch party the next day. Thanks SO much for this recipe. I was surprised it did not taste coconutty, which I greatly appreciated! The c. milk you suggest was new to me and I'll be buying that from now on. I like the smaller containers that it comes in and it was very smooth. Thanks for that tip. It did take me longer than 20 minutes prep time, but I had allowed extra time.
So pleased to hear it was a great success Brenda, you've inspired me to make it over the Holidays. 🙂
I’d like to make this but can’t find where your actual recipe is!?
The link was at the bottom of the post. Here it is https://www.thepaleomom.com/guest-post-kate-jay-lemon-tart-autoimmune-protocol-friendly/
Hope you enjoy it!
Amy Bambury says
Thank you so much!!
Wonderful! Wondering if I could freeze the leftover portion?
No, gelatin doesn't freeze very well I'm afraid. It will break down when it defrosts.
Thanks. I didn’t see your response, so I just tried freezing it. I wrapped all my leftover pieces in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. A few days later, I pulled one out. It thawed perfectly! Still delicious—no weird texture. Don’t know why it worked, but I’m glad it did!
Ooh great to hear, thanks Ardi.
Libby HOLLEY says
Any chance you could list nutrional information for your recipes especially carb count per portion. Looking for to trying this recipe out soon.
Hi Libby, I don't track carbs on my site but Cronometer and My Fitness Pal are a couple of apps you can try if you want to key in the information.
Sam biebel says
Under instructions for the crust you mention to refrigerate for 15 min after making it. But then under the recipe you left tips and wrote this ... After putting the crust into the mould, don’t refrigerate before adding the filling or the filling will likely separate from the base when it is cut. I’m confused or did read it wrong? I’d love to make this!
Hi Sam. The instructions at the bottom are relevant if you're going to leave the crust raw. The main recipe is for a cooked crust, which is what I do.
Wondering how this updated recipe differs from the original - can you elaborate, and someone in a group mentioned trying it and it being way to thick to cut and she couldn't serve it to her family. I don't know if she did something wrong or what happened but it makes me curious for how the updated version differs.
Thank you! ♥
Hi Gail. The recipe itself wasn't updated, just the text, so I imagine your group member got the gelatin quantity wrong and used too much.
Thanks so much for the clarification. Based on the reviews I'm seeing here I had a hard time believing that there was anything "wrong" with the quantity that you've suggested here. I'll note this in the group! All the best! ♥
Thanks. Yep, and there were hundreds of happy reviews when the recipe was on The Paleo Mom's site. She either misinterpreted the gelatin or didn't use the right quantity of liquid.
elise chan says
I don't have finely shredded coconut. Will toasted coconut work?
Yes but I would break the toasted coconut down first, before adding the rest of the crust ingredients.
elise chan says
I'm not too keen on getting a springform pan for only a few recipes. Is there a way to make this in a 9x13 or 9" round pan?
I have only made it in the 7 inch pan but someone else made it for a 9 inch pan as follows -
"2+1/2 cups of shredded coconut and 300g of dates for the base. 620 ml coconut milk and some more gelatin"
(I would try an extra teaspoon). Let me know how it goes.
Hello. I made the recipe this morning and set it for four hours. I’ve just cut into it and the jelly seems to have separated at the bottom and left the set coconut on top. Any advice on where I went wrong? I thought I followed the recipe well. Thanks in advance.
Hi Rachel, this has come up before and I think it's because of the coconut milk used. Did you use the one I link to (Aroy-D) or a similar full-fat brand?
It was full fat M&S coconut milk in a can with the normal added ingredients. Actually, thinking back, I topped it up with coconut cream as the can fell short of the quantity needed. Would this not work for the recipe?
It could well be the cream, which will always rise to the top of a can when refrigerated overnight. I have only tested it using Aroy-D I'm afraid. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coconut-Milk-Aroy-d-Brand-Product/dp/B01MTFJ7RA/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?dchild=1&keywords=aroy-D+coconut+milk&qid=1601873782&sr=8-1-fkmr0
Thank you. I will try again as the flavour was delicious.
This was really tasty and so easy to make. I only have a mini food processor so I just did the crust in two batches which worked perfect. I think I may add some puréed raspberry in the future; this was delicious served with fresh raspberries/sauce. My non-AIP family loved it too. I used the same carton of coconut milk as you too. I totally didn’t press the crust all the way up the sides (was using a 8” springform) so I just put the excess pudding in a Tupperware to eat alone.
So happy you all loved it. Thanks for letting me know ❤️
I made this today and it was wonderful! I'm so thankful for innovative AIP chefs like you who are willing to share their creations.
For my taste, I think next time I'll reduce the amount of gelatin by about 2 teaspoons so it's not so "wobbly". If anyone is interested, I used Earth's Choice canned premium coconut milk with no guar and it worked beautifully. Make sure to shake it thoroughly before using though!
So happy it was a success. It's my pleasure to share and thanks so much for taking the time to comment
I made this lemon tart for dessert at Easter. What an absolutely delicious tart, it reminded me of the lemon flan my mum used to make. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.
Thank you so much for the feedback, I'm thrilled you enjoyed it - and it brought back some happy memories too !
Kinley Thessing says
could i sub out the gelatin for agar agar and agave or maple syrup for honey to make this vegan?
Yes absolutely. But I haven't done so myself so can't give you measurements I'm afraid.
Thanks for the recipe! Can't wait to try it! One quick question... the recipe says to add lemon juice & zest, but I don't see an amount of zest listed in the ingredients. How much zest do you add? thanks!
It's the zest of the 4 lemons you're also using for juice.
I made this this weekend. It came out absolutely beautiful looking. However, the texture was too jello-y for me. I think if I was expecting that, it wouldn’t have bothered me as much, but I was hoping for more of a custard texture. Also I think the lemon zest from 4 lemons was a bit much. Maybe from two of the lemons and a tad more sweetness. The crust was great! I make coconut date balls often and the crust is basically the same.